Ball One – It’s hard to believe, but the first day of the County Championship has been greeted not just by warm sun, but a decent crowd, at least at The Oval. What will the journos write about now they can’t wheel out the cliches about one man and a dog and the irrelevance of domestic cricket?
Ball Two – When did players start to cut the ball off the front foot? I don’t remember such distinguished cutters as Gordon Greenidge and er… Harry Pilling playing the shot, so it’s tempting to think it’s an innovation entering the First Class game from Twenty20.
Ball Three – Sign, or rather, signs of the times as The Oval reveals its evocative picket fences ringing the boundary. But as the aesthetic appeal rises, so too do the financial worries, since the fences are visible only because advertising space remains unsold. And if Surrey can’ t sell the space, one worries for Derbyshire and Worcestershire.
Ball Four – Surrey have a number of young cricketers of real potential on their books including Jason Roy, a hard-hitting young batsman who has cut his teeth in Twenty20 cricket, but also played some of the er… real stuff. Perhaps one could forgive Surrey for playing Mark Ramprakash ahead of Roy, but Zander de Bruin?
Ball Five – Andrew Hall and Chaminda Vaas bowling in partnership bring plenty of experience, but not a lot of spectacle to the game. Both are bowling within each themselves, wobbling the ball around, looking for a bit of juice on a early season, but still biscuit coloured pitch.
Ball Six – It wouldn’t be Surrey without a comedy run out and one arrived soon after lunch seeing off a promising knock from Steven Davies. I’ve always been sceptical about the value of nets, because the game in the middle is rather different. There might be a few mix-ups in April, but I’m banking on Surrey repeating the trick come mid-season.
The Tooting Trumpet, whom you can often find at Testmatchsofa.com and on Twitter at @garynaylor999